By Ben Efe
World athletics ruling body, IAAF has removed the Abuja Grandprix from its calendar of world challenge meets, after the Athletics Federation of Nigeria failed to pay participating athletes last year.
Besides there are no indications that the AFN is keen to run the meet this season.â€œI donâ€™t know anything about the Abuja Grandprix. The board of the AFN has not told me anything with regards to having the competition. All we are concerned about is the Nkoyo Ibori championships this weekend,â€ said AFN secretary-general Maria Wophil.
The IAAF recognized the Abuja Grandprix after it was successfully organised in 2007 and 2008. That was when the National Sports Commission committed resources to it, but last year it was entirely and AFN project. The federation scrapped up funds from here and there to get the meet going.
International athletes from Europe and the Carribean competed with their Nigeria counterparts at the meet, but at the end it was all sighs as the athletes were not paid. Some of the athletes tabled the matter before the IAAF at the last World Championships in Berlin, Germany.